The Basque Language and Business

Peyton Duplechien • 07 Sep 2011 • 2 min read

Basque History
First, let’s talk history. The Basque region is an area in the Pyrenees where approximately 80,000 Basques live on the French side of the mountains and 580,000 on the Spanish side. The Basques are the oldest group of indigenous people in Europe. One intriguing fact about the Basques is that their language seems to have developed on its own without being derived from other languages.
Until the 16th century, the Basque language was a purely spoken language. Published in 1545, the oldest known Basque text is a collection of poems written by Bernard Detchepare.
The Basque language, called Euskara, is broken up into several dialects. But, how does this relate to business? We’re getting there!
Basque Linguistics
Basque did not have a standard alphabet until the mid-1960s. In 1964, the Royal Basque Language Academy devised a new standard for writing Basque. The Basque alphabet is written in Latin and contains the following letters: a b d e f g h I j k l m n ñ o p r s t u x z. The remaining letters in the standard alphabet are only used when translations are necessary.
Relation to Other Languages
Basque appears to be an isolated language in that it did not derive from other languages, although opinions vary. Basque borrows words from the Latin, French, Spanish, Celtic, and Arabic languages, but it did not develop from them.
See some connections below about the language and its many connections:

Business and Basque
When it comes to business communications and Basque, what’s the relationship?
Well, the connection between the two is that when working with customers in a different dialect, language, or culture than us, it’s imperative that they’re treated with respect.
We need to remember that what they’re trying to communicate with us they are doing to the best of their abilities. At the end of the day, much like Basque and its other connections to history, we are all connected to one another throughout history, linguistics, and communities.
When talking to a customer on the phone, you can use these tools to improve your business communications:

  • Speak slowly and ask questions
  • Offer a bilingual option
  • Take notes
  • Be kind and patient
  • Hire an answering service to help!

Contact VoiceNation today if you need help maintaining your lines with a kind, custom scripted service designed to help your business communications succeed.